Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Hikbi at Galleria
Lifted from Philippine Daily Inquirer
From Accountant to Actor-Director
by Bayani San Diego
MANILA, Philippines—An accountant-teacher by profession, Felbert P. Go makes his debut as actor-scriptwriter-producer-director in the independent feature “Hikbi (Cry for Redemption).”
Although he worked as production accountant in movies like Gil Portes’ “Homecoming” and Joel Lamangan’s “Manay Po,” nothing prepared him for shooting his own film, he said.
Making things tougher, he chose to mine his own life for his first feature “Hikbi”—a brutally candid account of his tumultuous journey as a gay man, where he bared his body and soul for the camera.
Helping him out is his mentor, internationally renowned filmmaker Lav Diaz, who not only lent his camera, but also acted as the movie’s consultant and music scorer.
As bonus, Diaz appears in a cameo role as a folk singer in the film.
“Hikbi” will have a theatrical run in Robinsons Galleria and Isetann Recto this month.
What was the biggest challenge in making this film?
Casting the lead role of Ram. Two days before the start of the shoot, I decided to play Ram. I remembered what Lav Diaz told me about the importance of “immersing” actors to bring out the best in them.
To prepare, I watched “Monster,” starring Charlize Theron, five times in two days. I believe I had to become unbelievably monstrous to conquer my fears.
How long was the shoot? What was the camera you used?
It took four days, shooting from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight. I used Lav’s camera, a Panasonic DVX 100.
What are some tips that you’ve picked up from Lav?
So many tips you can’t learn from a prestigious film school. One key lesson is to be honest because I’m telling my story. I’ve defied hypocrisy as far as gender is concerned.
Was it difficult sharing such a personal story onscreen?
It’s really hard. But getting approval from the other key character helped me get through it. I would like to thank my co-actor, Adrian Landicho, who just happens to be the real guy (Ram’s lover) in the story as well.
What’s your take on the glut of gay films in the indie scene?
Maybe it’s because we lead interesting, exciting lives. We are human beings as well, with a variety of experiences worthy of being heard and watched.
Filmmaking is a big leap from accountancy.
It is. Writing is my way to find myself. I feel that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
HIKBI is showing on March 25 at Robinsons Galleria
April 1 at Isetann Recto